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J Mol Diagn. 2011 Sep;13(5):461-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.05.007. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Uses and abuses of JAK2 and MPL mutation tests in myeloproliferative neoplasms a paper from the 2010 William Beaumont hospital symposium on molecular pathology.

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Divisions of Hematology and Hematopathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


JAK2V617F is sufficiently prevalent in BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) to be useful as a clonal marker. JAK2V617F mutation screening is indicated for the evaluation of erythrocytosis, thrombocytosis, splanchnic vein thrombosis, and otherwise unexplained BCR-ABL1-negative granulocytosis. However, the mutation does not provide additional value in the presence of unequivocal morphologic diagnosis, and its presence does not necessarily distinguish one MPN from another or provide useful prognostic information. In general, quantitative cell-based JAK2V617F mutation assays are preferred because the additional information obtained on mutant allele burden enhances diagnostic certainty and facilitates monitoring of response to treatment. JAK2 exon 12 mutation screening is indicated only in the presence of JAK2V617F-negative erythrocytosis that is associated with a subnormal serum erythropoietin level. MPL mutations are neither frequent nor specific enough to warrant their routine use for MPN diagnosis, but they may be useful in resolving specific diagnostic problems. The practice of en bloc screening for JAK2V617F, JAK2 exon 12, and MPL mutations is scientifically irrational and economically irresponsible.

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